Partnership Building Strategies

WILD delegate from Kenya speaking with a representative of an international development organization
So, you secured a meeting with a potential partner! Maybe it is with a representative from the US Embassy, USAID, an international development organization, or a local nonprofit. Here are a few things to keep in mind going into that meeting.

Before you meet

Do your homework. This cannot be emphasized enough! Learn what the organization is doing. Here are a few questions to think about:

  • What are the organization’s strategic objectives and goals?
  • What work have they done in your community?  What have they supported?
  • What are their policies on inclusion of people with disabilities?
  • Who are their local partners?

When you meet

Focus on building relationships. This is a two-way meeting, both about what you can do for them and what they can do for you; about what you can offer and what they can bring to the table. Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Ask them about their work
  2. Appreciate their accomplishments and important work
  3. Give them a comprehensive overview of the work you are doing
  4. Leave them with something physical such as a business card or brochure that they might refer back to later
  5. Offer them your invaluable services on inclusion of people with disabilities in international development such as:
  • Provide trainings to staff at their headquarters on barriers people with disabilities face and the importance of inclusion
  • Provide practical information on making office space and services accessible
  • Provide practical information and consultation on making communication materials accessible
  • You are an invaluable resource for identifying people with disabilities in the community to strengthen their outreach
  • You can give guidance on the specific needs of people with disabilities

6.  Ask how you can be helpful to their organization, to accomplish the goals you share